Malegaon: NIA says it will not call witnesses to testify till July 22

In what would stall the ongoing trial in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday told the Bombay High Court that it will not examine any prosecution witnesses, whose names and statements have been truncated in the charge sheet filed by the agency, till July 22.

A Division Bench of Justices Indranjit Mahanty and A.M. Badar was hearing an appeal filed by Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, an accused in the blasts that killed six and injured 100.

On November 21, last year, the NIA court had refused to share names of witnesses with him. Soon after, he moved the HC seeking the same.

On November 12, Mr. Purohit had filed two applications — one stating that the NIA had not submitted names of all witnesses in the trial and two, that it had shared truncated information with him.

Advocate Shrikant Shivade, appearing for Mr. Purohit, told the HC that the special court is recording evidence of prosecution witnesses and that he will not be able to cross-examine them as their names and statements have been truncated and have not been shared with him.

However, advocate Sandesh Patil, representing the NIA, said it will be able to give the names of the prosecution witnesses to him on July 22 in a sealed envelope. He said, meanwhile, the agency will not call any of the witnesses to testify before the NIA court.

The court directed Mr. Patil to submit a list of about 200 witnesses to the NIA court as well. The Bench also said the agency should have submitted the list of witnesses to the special court, which is conducting the trial.

In the earlier hearing, NIA counsel Avinash Rasal had objected to Mr. Purohit’s plea before the NIA court and had said that since the matter is sensitive, the names of the witnesses cannot be shared with him.

Last week, before the NIA court, a witness identified the motorcycle used in the blasts, which allegedly belonged to the MP, Pragya Singh Thakur.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 13, 2021 4:09:35 PM |

Next Story